Misfolded SOD1 pathology in sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Aggregation of mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is a pathological hallmark of a subset of familial ALS patients. However, the possible role of misfolded wild type SOD1 in human ALS is highly debated. To ascertain whether or not misfolded SOD1 is a common pathological feature in non-SOD1 ALS, we performed a blinded histological and biochemical analysis of post mortem brain and spinal cord tissues from 19 sporadic ALS, compared with a SOD1 A4V patient as well as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and non-neurological controls. Multiple conformation- or misfolded-specific antibodies for human SOD1 were compared. These were generated independently by different research groups and were compared using standardized conditions. Five different misSOD1 staining patterns were found consistently in tissue sections from SALS cases and the SOD1 A4V patient, but were essentially absent in AD and non-neurological controls. We have established clear experimental protocols and provide specific guidelines for working, with conformational/misfolded SOD1-specific antibodies. Adherence to these guidelines will aid in the comparison of the results of future studies and better interpretation of staining patterns. This blinded, standardized and unbiased approach provides further support for a possible pathological role of misSOD1 in SALS.
Project description:Evidence of misfolded wild-type superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) has been detected in spinal cords of sporadic ALS (sALS) patients, suggesting an etiological relationship to SOD1-associated familial ALS (fALS). Given that there are currently a number of promising therapies under development that target SOD1, it is of critical importance to better understand the role of misfolded SOD1 in sALS. We previously demonstrated the permissiveness of the G85R-SOD1:YFP mouse model for MND induction following injection with tissue homogenates from paralyzed transgenic mice expressing SOD1 mutations. This prompted us to examine whether WT SOD1 can self-propagate misfolding of the G85R-SOD1:YFP protein akin to what has been observed with mutant SOD1. Using the G85R-SOD1:YFP mice, we demonstrate that misfolded conformers of recombinant WT SOD1, produced in vitro, induce MND with a distinct inclusion pathology. Furthermore, the distinct pathology remains upon successive passages in the G85R-SOD1:YFP mice, strongly supporting the notion for conformation-dependent templated propagation and SOD1 strains. To determine the presence of a similar misfolded WT SOD1 conformer in sALS tissue, we screened homogenates from patients diagnosed with sALS, fALS, and non-ALS disease in an organotypic spinal cord slice culture assay. Slice cultures from G85R-SOD1:YFP mice exposed to spinal homogenates from patients diagnosed with ALS caused by the A4V mutation in SOD1 developed robust inclusion pathology, whereas spinal homogenates from more than 30 sALS cases and various controls failed. These findings suggest that mutant SOD1 has prion-like attributes that do not extend to SOD1 in sALS tissues.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A subset of familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are caused by mutations in the gene coding Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Mutant SOD1 proteins are susceptible to misfolding and abnormally accumulated in spinal cord, which is most severely affected in ALS. It, however, remains quite controversial whether misfolding of wild-type SOD1 is involved in more prevalent sporadic ALS (sALS) cases without SOD1 mutations. METHODS:Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients including sALS as well as several other neurodegenerative diseases and non-neurodegenerative diseases was examined with an immunoprecipitation assay and a sandwich ELISA using antibodies specifically recognizing misfolded SOD1. RESULTS:We found that wild-type SOD1 was misfolded in CSF from all sALS cases examined in this study. The misfolded SOD1 was also detected in CSF from a subset of Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy, albeit with smaller amounts than those in sALS. Furthermore, the CSF samples containing the misfolded SOD1 exhibited significant toxicity toward motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells, which was ameliorated by removal of the misfolded wild-type SOD1 with immunoprecipitation. CONCLUSIONS:Taken together, we propose that misfolding of wild-type SOD1 in CSF is a common pathological process of ALS cases regardless of SOD1 mutations.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), partly caused by the mutations and aggregation of human copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1), is a fatal degenerative disease of motor neurons. Because SOD1 is a major copper-binding protein present at relatively high concentration in motor neurons and copper can be a harmful pro-oxidant, we want to know whether aberrant copper biochemistry could underlie ALS pathogenesis. In this study, we have investigated and compared the effects of cupric ions on the aggregation of ALS-associated SOD1 mutant A4V and oxidized wild-type SOD1.As revealed by 90° light scattering, dynamic light scattering, SDS-PAGE, and atomic force microscopy, free cupric ions in solution not only induce the oxidation of either apo A4V or Zn2-A4V and trigger the oligomerization and aggregation of oxidized A4V under copper-mediated oxidative conditions, but also trigger the aggregation of non-oxidized form of such a pathogenic mutant. As evidenced by mass spectrometry and SDS-PAGE, Cys-111 is a primary target for oxidative modification of pathological human SOD1 mutant A4V by either excess Cu(2+) or hydrogen peroxide. The results from isothermal titration calorimetry show that A4V possesses two sets of independent binding sites for Cu(2+): a moderate-affinity site (10(6) M(-1)) and a high-affinity site (10(8) M(-1)). Furthermore, Cu(2+) binds to wild-type SOD1 oxidized by hydrogen peroxide in a way similar to A4V, triggering the aggregation of such an oxidized form.We demonstrate that excess cupric ions induce the oxidation and trigger the aggregation of A4V SOD1, and suggest that Cu(2+) plays a key role in the mechanism of aggregation of both A4V and oxidized wild-type SOD1. A plausible model for how pathological SOD1 mutants aggregate in ALS-affected motor neurons with the disruption of copper homeostasis has been provided.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:A hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) are inclusions containing SOD1 in motor neurons. Here, we searched for SOD1-positive inclusions in 29 patients carrying ALS-linked mutations in six other genes. METHODS:A panel of antibodies that specifically recognise misfolded SOD1 species were used for immunohistochemical investigations of autopsy tissue. RESULTS:The 18 patients with hexanucleotide-repeat-expansions in C9orf72 had inclusions of misfolded wild type (WT) SOD1WT in spinal motor neurons. Similar inclusions were occasionally observed in medulla oblongata and in the motor cortex and frontal lobe. Patients with mutations in FUS, KIF5A, NEK1, ALSIN or VAPB, carried similar SOD1WT inclusions. Minute amounts of misSOD1WT inclusions were detected in 2 of 20 patients deceased from non-neurological causes and in 4 of 10 patients with other neurodegenerative diseases. Comparison was made with 17 patients with 9 different SOD1 mutations. Morphologically, the inclusions in patients with mutations in C9orf72HRE, FUS, KIF5A, NEK1, VAPB and ALSIN resembled inclusions in patients carrying the wildtype-like SOD1D90A mutation, whereas patients carrying unstable SOD1 mutations (A4V, V5M, D76Y, D83G, D101G, G114A, G127X, L144F) had larger skein-like SOD1-positive inclusions. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:Abundant inclusions containing misfolded SOD1WT are found in spinal and cortical motor neurons in patients carrying mutations in six ALS-causing genes other than SOD1. This suggests that misfolding of SOD1WT can be part of a common downstream event that may be pathogenic. The new anti-SOD1 therapeutics in development may have applications for a broader range of patients.
Project description:Despite the genetic heterogeneity reported in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (fALS), Cu/Zn superoxide-dismutase (SOD1) gene mutations are the second most common cause of the disease, accounting for around 20% of all families (ALS1) and isolated sporadic cases (sALS). At least 186 different mutations in the SOD1 gene have been reported to date. The possibility of a single founder and separate founders have been investigated for D90A (p.D91A) and A4V (p.A5V), the most common mutations worldwide. High-throughput single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping studies have suggested two founders for A4V (one for the Amerindian population and another for the European population) although the possibility that the two populations are descended from a single ancient founder cannot be ruled out. We used 15 genetic variants spanning the human chromosome 21 from the SOD1 gene to the SCAF4 gene, comparing them with the population reference panels, to demonstrate that the first A4V Spanish pedigree shared the genetic background reported in the European population.
Project description:Many mutations confer one or more toxic function(s) on copper/zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) that impair motor neuron viability and cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). Using a conformation-specific antibody that detects misfolded SOD1 (C4F6), we found that oxidized wild-type SOD1 and mutant SOD1 share a conformational epitope that is not present in normal wild-type SOD1. In a subset of human sporadic ALS (SALS) cases, motor neurons in the lumbosacral spinal cord were markedly C4F6 immunoreactive, indicating that an aberrant wild-type SOD1 species was present. Recombinant, oxidized wild-type SOD1 and wild-type SOD1 immunopurified from SALS tissues inhibited kinesin-based fast axonal transport in a manner similar to that of FALS-linked mutant SOD1. Our findings suggest that wild-type SOD1 can be pathogenic in SALS and identify an SOD1-dependent pathogenic mechanism common to FALS and SALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is incurable and characterized by progressive paralysis of the muscles of the limbs, speech and swallowing, and respiration due to the progressive degeneration of voluntary motor neurons. Clinically indistinguishable ALS can be caused by genetic mutations of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP43), or fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS), or can occur in the absence of known mutation as sporadic disease. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that FUS/TLS and TDP43 gain new pathogenic functions upon aberrant accumulation in the cytosol that directly or indirectly include misfolding of SOD1.Patient spinal cord necropsy immunohistochemistry with SOD1 misfolding-specific antibodies revealed misfolded SOD1 in perikarya and motor axons of SOD1-familial ALS (SOD1-FALS), and in motor axons of R521C-FUS FALS and sporadic ALS (SALS) with cytoplasmic TDP43 inclusions. SOD1 misfolding and oxidation was also detected using immunocytochemistry and quantitative immunoprecipitation of human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells as well as cultured murine spinal neural cells transgenic for human wtSOD1, which were transiently transfected with human cytosolic mutant FUS or TDP43, or wtTDP43.We conclude that cytosolic mislocalization of FUS or TDP43 in vitro and ALS in vivo may kindle wtSOD1 misfolding in non-SOD1 FALS and SALS. The lack of immunohistochemical compartmental co-localization of misfolded SOD1 with cytosolic TDP43 or FUS suggests an indirect induction of SOD1 misfolding followed by propagation through template directed misfolding beyond its site of inception. The identification of a final common pathway in the molecular pathogenesis of ALS provides a treatment target for this devastating disease.
Project description:An important consequence of protein misfolding related to neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is the formation of proteinaceous inclusions or aggregates within the central nervous system. We have previously shown that several familial ALS-linked copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) mutants (A4V, G85R, and G93A) interact and co-localize with the dynein-dynactin complex in cultured cells and affected tissues of ALS mice. In this study, we report that the interaction between mutant SOD1 and the dynein motor plays a critical role in the formation of large inclusions containing mutant SOD1. Disruption of the motor by overexpression of the p50 subunit of dynactin in neuronal and non-neuronal cell cultures abolished the association between aggregation-prone SOD1 mutants and the dynein-dynactin complex. The p50 overexpression also prevented mutant SOD1 inclusion formation and improved the survival of cells expressing A4V SOD1. Furthermore, we observed that two ALS-linked SOD1 mutants, H46R and H48Q, which showed a lower propensity to interact with the dynein motor, also produced less aggregation and fewer large inclusions. Overall, these data suggest that formation of large inclusions depends upon association of the abnormal SOD1s with the dynein motor. Whether the misfolded SOD1s directly perturb axonal transport or impair other functional properties of the dynein motor, this interaction could propagate a toxic effect that ultimately causes motor neuron death in ALS.
Project description:A prion-like mechanism has been developed to explain the observed promotion of amyloid aggregation caused by conversion of structurally intact SOD1 to a misfolded form. Superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn], or SOD1, is a homo-dimeric protein that functions as an antioxidant by scavenging for superoxide. The misfolding and aggregation of SOD1 is linked to inherited, or familial, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease. Aberrant SOD1 folding has also been strongly implicated in disease causation for sporadic ALS, or SALS, which accounts for ~90% of ALS cases. Studies have found that mutant, misfolded SOD1 can convert wtSOD1 in a prion-like fashion, and that misfolded wtSOD1 can be propagated by release and uptake of protein aggregates. Here it is demonstrated that enervating the SOD1 electrostatic loop can lead to an experimentally observed gain of interaction (GOI) responsible for the formation of SOD1 amyloid-like filaments. This enervation is caused in turn by the formation of transient, non-obligate oligomers between pathogenic SOD1 mutants and wt SOD1.
Project description:Greater than 160 missense mutations in copper-zinc superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) can cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These mutations produce conformational changes that reveal novel antibody binding epitopes. A monoclonal antibody, clone C4F6 - raised against the ALS variant G93A of SOD1, has been identified as specifically recognizing a conformation shared by many ALS mutants of SOD1. Attempts to determine whether non-mutant SOD1 adopts a C4F6-reactive conformation in spinal tissues of sporadic ALS (sALS) patients has produced inconsistent results. To define the epitope recognized by C4F6, we tested its binding to a panel of recombinant ALS-SOD1 proteins expressed in cultured cells, producing data to suggest that the C4F6 epitope minimally contains amino acids 90-93, which are normally folded into a tight hairpin loop. Multiple van der Waals interactions between the 90-93 loop and a loop formed by amino acids 37-42, particularly a leucine at position 38, form a stable structure termed the ?-plug. Based on published modeling predictions, we suggest that the binding of C4F6 to multiple ALS mutants of SOD1 occurs when the local structure within the ?-plug, including the loop at 90-93, is destabilized. In using the antibody to stain tissues from transgenic mice or humans, the specificity of the antibody for ALS mutant SOD1 was influenced by antigen retrieval protocols. Using conditions that showed the best discrimination between normal and misfolded mutant SOD1 in cell and mouse models, we could find no obvious difference in C4F6 reactivity to spinal motor neurons between sALS and controls tissues.